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Improve Your Public Space

The First Impressions Program strives to provide GSA Property Managers, Project Managers and Asset Managers with resources for the successful evaluation and improvement of major lobby and plaza spaces in and around federal buildings. 

First Impressions projects typically fall below prospectus level. Tight funding may cause projects and solutions that should be easy to execute seem surprisingly difficult to accomplish.  Some of the resolvable issues that historically plague such efforts include:

  • Smaller projects not building on one another.
  • Improvements occurring in a vacuum.
  • Colors, finishes, and signage is not chosen with a vision of the unified whole.
  • Not getting the maximum mileage out of improvements.
  • Improvements reflecting the “flavor of the month” or the unique tastes of the ordering official.
  • Properties lacking a coordinated vision.
  • Funding for large-scale improvements may not seem forthcoming.

These efforts ostensibly compete with all of the other budget concerns borne by the region – utilities and system upgrades, heating costs, project related travel, etc.  Yet, as Property Managers and Project Managers take steps to make public spaces better, the First Impressions Program provides a methodology to augment current approaches to building improvements.
The First Impressions Program facilitates the collaboration needed for scoping, funding, managing, and executing projects, by assisting in the development of preemptive and cohesive strategies.  The issue here isn’t just about cosmetic changes—it is also about maximizing taxpayer dollars.  No one advocates a one-size-fits-all solution, but limiting color, material, and signage palettes and establishing building standards, makes it easier to provide customers with office space that is uniform and competitive. 


Mary Shearill-Thompson
(202) 208-1827

first impressions,lobby,lobbies